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Arsene Wenger: David Bowie gave very important message to my generation

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was among footballing figures to pay tribute to music legend David Bowie, whose death from cancer at the age of 69 was announced on Monday.

Bowie, one of the most influential figures in pop history, had a succession of hits including Space Oddity, Starman, Heroes, Changes and Life on Mars.

He released his final album, Blackstar, on Friday -- his birthday -- and the news of his death was confirmed by his son Duncan Jones, a film director.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of his side's game against Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday, Wenger said: "I must say the message he gave to my generation was very important.

"What I keep from his philosophical message is: be strong enough to be yourself. And that is a very strong message -- that was very important for my generation."

Other football figures including Joey Barton and Peter Schmeichel tweeted their reactions to the loss of the musician, with clubs including Sunderland and Manchester City, at whose old stadiums Bowie played concerts, also sending tweets.

Burnley midfielder Barton wrote that the world had lost a man who "played by his own rules" and was a "one off" and a "good humanist," and also quoted Bowie.

Schmeichel wrote that he was "in shock" at the news and described Bowie as "a hero."

City's tweet recalled Bowie concerts at their former Maine Road ground in 1987 and 1990, and Sunderland's tribute remembered that he was the only musician ever to have headlined at their old Roker Park home.